The Q&A Archives: Our Front Lawn

Question: My husband put Scott's fertilizer (Turf Builder) on our lawn at the end of April. It rained why we were on vacation so that would be good for it right? We cannot understand why there are areas that are yellowish and dead looking. What can we do to get rid of this, or what could be causing these spots? He does not think the fertilizer did what could it be?

Answer: I agree with your husband - I don't think the fertilizer caused the yellowish and dead spots in your lawn. Scotts Turf Builder contains essential nutrients for a stronger, greener lawn. Because it feeds gradually over 6 to 8 weeks it won't burn your lawn. I suspect that the yellowing and dead grass you see are patches of cool season grasses that are dying out now that the weather is warming up. There's also a possiblity that what you're seeing is a disease brought on by winter conditions. The only real way to know is to carefully inspect the grass blades and the soil surface. If you see rusty colored or dark brown/black streaks or spots on the grass blades, or white mold on the soil surface, it's a fungal disease. Often these conditions will go away with exposure to sunshine and fresh air. Or, you can rake out the damaged spots in your lawn and overseed the entire lawn to make it thick and lush. You might even want to dig out a few inches of the affected lawn (roots, soil and all), put it in a plastic baggie and take it to your local nursery for diagnosis. Don't leave it in a sealed baggie for too long or it could develop fungus due to lack of air circulation and that would affect the diagnosis.

Best wishes with your lawn!

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